Upcoming changes in the employment of foreign workers aim to simplify the process of hiring foreigners in Poland. The act regulating employment of foreigners is to come into force on 1 January 2024. We have outlined key changes for employers hiring foreign workers. Read about the details in the article below.
Table of Contents
- Assumptions of the project on employment of foreign workers in 2024
- The so-called Labour Market Test in 2024
- Informatisation of the process of employment of foreign workers in 2024
- Rights and responsibilities of employers and foreign workers
- Benefits of informatisation of the employment of foreign workers in 2024
- Other changes in employment of foreign workers in 2024
Assumptions of the project on employment of foreign workers in 2024
The draft bill on the employment of foreign workers aims to improve the procedure for foreigners’ access to the Polish labour market. At the same time, it also maintains the currently applicable rules, i.e.:
- free access to the job market for specific groups of foreigners.
- limited rights to work resulting from the conditions specified in the issued permits. For example, work permits or temporary residence permits for employment purposes.
The key assumptions of the project include:
- Full digitalization of the employment process. This is to improve and simplify procedures for granting work permits and declarations of employment for foreigners. Another goal is to prevent negative practices such as lowering labour market standards.
- The abolition of the so-called labour market test,
- Correcting or removing from legal transactions declarations on entrusting work to a foreigner, which were incorrectly or unnecessarily entered into the register.
- Clarifying the conditions for granting work permits to foreign workers.
- Removing from legal transactions unused declarations on the employment of foreigners.
- Increasing sanctions for violating the terms of employment contracts with foreign workers from 2000 PLN to 30000 PLN.
The so-called Labour Market Test in 2024
The labour market test is a complex procedure in which an employer wishing to hire a foreign worker in Poland must apply to the PUP with a job offer. The abbreviation PUP stands for Polish District Labour Office (Powiatowy Urząd Pracy). The institution verifies the register of unemployed people. By this, it determines if there is a suitable Polish candidate for the job. If an employer receives information that there is no suitable local candidate, he can hire a foreign worker.
The labour market test was intended to ensure the verification of the local job market. It was supposed to give priority to Polish workers. According to the draft bill, it is considered an unnecessary formal requirement. Especially in the case of relatively low unemployment. Additionally, some professions are already exempt from this test. This concerns for example IT professionals.
Informatisation of the process of employment of foreign workers in 2024
The planned informatisation of the foreign workers’ employment process aims to:
- Improve the process of issuing decisions on the admission of foreigners to work.
- Increase security of foreigners in the employment relationship.
The system will verify the grounds for refusing to grant a work permit. It will check, among other things, information on:
- The employer’s compliance with the terms and conditions of employment of a foreigner. If an employer was previously punished for violating these rules, he will not obtain another work permit for a foreigner.
- Foreign workers’ renumeration. This concerns ensuring that there is no significant disproportion in the remuneration of foreigners in relation to people from the same industry employed in the local market.
Public authorities will have two years from the Act’s implementation to digitize proceedings.
Rights and responsibilities of employers and foreign workers
The changes planned for 2024 provide that both employers and foreigners will use the electronic system as part of the employment procedure. To create an account in the system, a foreigner will need an electronic signature.
To submit an application for work permit, the employer will have to create an account on praca.gov.pl. This will be the only available way. Through the electronic system, employers will:
- Receive all decisions issued during proceedings.
- Submit appeals within proceedings.
A foreigner applying for work will gain access to:
- An individual account.
- All decisions in administrative proceedings in which he is involved.
- Information on previous proceedings initiated by the employer regarding his employment. This aims to prevent employers from providing false information to foreign workers.
Benefits of informatisation of the employment of foreign workers in 2024
According to the legislator, the informatisation of the foreigners’ employment process in 2024 is to bring the following benefits:
- Shorter waiting time for issuing a decision on the employment of foreigners.
- Increasing the security of foreigners’ employment.
- Increased effectiveness of monitoring the legality of foreign workers’ employment and stay by institutions such as the Border Guard.
- Improving the flow of information. The system will receive information about the entry and stay of a foreigner on the territory of Poland.
- The possibility of obtaining data on a foreigner undertaking work in Poland. This includes information from the systems of the Border Guard, Social Insurance Institution or National Criminal Register.
Other changes in employment of foreign workers in 2024
The draft bill also contains other solutions related to employment of foreign workers. Among them, there are provisions such as:
- Changing the rules on punishing employers for violations against employees. This involves higher penalties for illegal entrusting work to a foreigner. Their amount will depend on the number of illegally employed foreigners.
- Clarifying the grounds for refusing to grant a work permit to a foreign worker:
- An obligatory ground for refusal, i.e. the employer’s failure to pay social security contributions or income tax advances.
- Penalties imposed on employers for specific actions will continue to be grounds for refusal.
3. Positive ground for obtaining a work permit for a foreigner – i.e. working time not lower than 1/4 of a full-time job or 10 hours a week.
4. A closed list of conditions preventing employer from submitting declaration to make an entry in the register. Any of these results in the blocking of statement submission.
5. The possibility to remove unused declarations of employment from the records.
6. Registering only declarations of employment that foreign workers actually use.
7. Processing foreign workers’ personal data for no longer than two years. This period is calculated from the end of the calendar year in which the employment contract was terminated unless the law specifies otherwise.
The new regulations comprehensively govern the access of foreigners to the Polish job market. The changes are not revolutionary. They are based on known solutions but also introduce some optimizations. Their goal is to eliminate unfair employment practices that lead to imbalance in the access to labour market. They will also improve control over the legality of foreigners’ stay in Poland. Moreover, the flow of information among public institutions will be improved.
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